Thrissur lottery seller left homeless as bank auctions off land for loan he never took

Lottery seller Shabu and his mom in front of their house. Photo: Manorama

Thrissur: A lottery seller and his family have been forced to live on the streets after the Thrissur Co-operative Bank auctioned his land and house for a loan he never took.

Shabu from Nedupuzha in Vattappinni had taken a loan from the Koorkancherry branch of the Thrissur Co-operative Bank in 2016. He received a notice for recovery proceedings from the Sakthan Bus stand branch, which he said he never visited, in 2020. Shabu had filed a case with the Thrissur Vigilance Court to get to the bottom of it.

However, the bank, by then, informed him that it had auctioned off his house and land, pushing the family to live on the streets.

With his 76-year-old mother, wife, and unmarried daughter, Shabu does not know where to live. The bank has informed him that he can retrieve the property if the loan is repaid within 30 days, along with the auction amount and 5 per cent penalty interest. If not, the house and they have to vacate the house and the land in favour of the bidder.

According to Shabu's complaint, he took a loan of Rs 4 lakh for his daughter's wedding from the Koorkancherry branch in 2016 by mortgaging the title deed of the house. Seven instalments were promptly repaid. However, his daughter had to undergo surgery three times in a row, and he couldn’t repay the remaining loan amount.

When he received a recovery proceedings notice, he attended the bank's Adalat and promised to repay the loan by selling his property.

Meanwhile, in 2020, a recovery notice was received from the Sakthan branch. The notice did not specify how much the amount of the loan or how much he owed the bank. Though he requested the bank to see if there indeed was a loan application in his name, the authorities refused to oblige. An RTI application too was of no avail.

Shabu then approached the Vigilance Court, citing foul play in the proceedings. He, however, received a letter from the Thrissur Co-operative Bank on Tuesday morning, as the court was considering the complaint, which stated that his house and land were auctioned off for Rs 7.63 lakh on May 20. While the estimated value fixed by the bank for the house and the plot is Rs 11 lakh, it is unclear how it was auctioned off the auction at a lower price.

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